Over the years, Spokane has continued to change with time, and this evolution is reflected in the dining and entertainment scene more than ever before. 2017 has marked big changes for Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park, which has been focusing on rebranding its name, hotel and restaurant to offer Spokane locals and visitors alike an unforgettable experience starting with the moment a guest walks through their doors.
With more than 30 years in hotel management with Hilton Hotels—and three years right here in Downtown Spokane—Michael Fear, RL Spokane’s general manager, has been steadfast in fashioning the food and beverage offerings at the hotel and expanding guests’ options when it comes to menu choices.
The newly renovated restaurant and bar overlooks the updated communal lobby and Riverfront Park, offering guests a rustic casual feel. The patio allows guests to sit back and relax as they take in views of the Spokane River and Centennial Trail. With the addition of a fireplace and outdoor heaters, patrons can enjoy outdoor dining more than ever before. In addition to the renovation, Hotel RL has introduced a new chef to its team—Ricky Webster, corporate executive chef. A native to California with an impressive 15-year restaurant resume, Ricky is bringing his flavorful and creative style to the table; and guests are eagerly taking a seat.
Ricky relocated from Los Angeles to Spokane just this past February for this incredible job opportunity. And it was easy to say yes. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, Ricky was impressed with all the area has to offer.
“I’m very outdoorsy and love hiking, camping and fishing. Add to that the quality of life here that I could not achieve in LA as far as being able to purchase a home and grasp the local environment,” he says. “I wanted a vegetable garden and chickens for eggs. Here, I can do the things I’m passionate about.”
And Ricky’s No. 1 passion is food; providing good, wholesome, flavorful foods, sourcing ingredients as locally as possible to serve his guests. During the winter months, he explains the difficulties he encountered sourcing locally, but in turn, discovered local purveyors not just in the Spokane area, but Idaho, Oregon and Montana.
The Restaurant at Hotel RL features regionally inspired menu items from the more standard fare to the adventurous. “This is trout country, so I created a play on fish and chips using trout,” says Ricky. The fish is paired with Old Bay-seasoned house-made kettle chips, a perfect pairing.
All of their eggs are Wilcox organic and free-range, and all meat is Pacific Northwest beef, which Ricky is proud to serve and celebrates what our area has to offer. For desserts, he has chosen local ice cream made right here in Spokane at Mary Lou’s. “It’s a wonderful iconic ice cream shop, and this gives them the opportunity to represent us and vice versa,” says Ricky. The Pacific Northwest steak frites has been well-received, and at an incredible price, it’s an approachable option for any guest.
At the restaurant, Ricky celebrates the smaller plates, as well as shared plates. “We fill the table with food, and everyone can pick and choose and enjoy a little bit of everything,” he says. From the Thai beef lettuce wraps and street tacos, to the Epic mac n’ cheese bacon burger and Pacific Northwest salmon, the menu is diverse and bright, incorporating that Mediterranean flavor into many of the dishes.
When it comes to what Chef Ricky enjoys most about his job, he says, “It is really about taking care of people—both those who work with me in the back of the house to our front-of-the-house guests—and getting to be creative and showcasing what people haven’t yet seen. I enjoy teaching people, expanding their minds and culinary horizons, all while getting to do what I love.”
To add to the experience at Hotel RL, this holiday season (November 24, 2017 to January 1, 2018) the hotel lobby will feature a whimsical life-sized Gingerbread House. The kitchen has been well underway making gingerbread since September to accommodate for the building of this walk-through structure. Along with a nightly warm beverage and sweets menu offered from inside the lobby’s Sugar Shack, they will also be selling raffle tickets with proceeds supporting Blessings Under The Bridge. Winners will receive a trip for four to Disneyland!
Relax, dine and stay a while at Hotel RL Spokane.
Winter Menu Sample
The Hangover Biscuit Sandwich
Cheddar-chive biscuit with pimento cheese, chorizo hash and a sunny-side up egg
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
With lime, candied almonds and cilantro
Duck Gravy Fries (Poutine)
Duck confit, pickled scallion and cheddar cheese curds
Seared organic king salmon, hazelnut gremolata and crispy smashed herb fingerling potatoes
Fennel and Arugula Green Goddess Salad
Winter citrus, avocado and herbs
WA Cookie Skillet
Cherries, chocolate and hazelnut cookie baked in a skillet with Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle ice cream
Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park
303 W. North River Dr.